Gut Health Food On-the-Go!

gut health

You asked and we are listening. Maintaining good gut health can sound difficult or time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be! Check out the tips below on maintaining good gut health even while on-the-go.

1. Incorporate Probiotics into Your Diet

Probiotics are good bacteria that fight off bad bacteria in the gut and help establish a healthy microbiome. Common probiotic strains include Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces Boulardii, which is a type of yeast. Probiotics help keep the balance of intestinal bacteria in check which in turn allows your body to function at its best. For instance, bifidobacteria is linked with not only gut health benefits, but also immune system and cognitive health benefits.

To include more probiotics in your diet, look for fermented foods including yogurt, kefir and aged cheeses, which contain live cultures such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. If you are avoiding dairy, there are now plant-based probiotic fermented beverage options available, such as Trader Joe’s Probiotic-rich Cultured Cashew Beverage or LifeWay’s Plantiful Probiotic Drink. Other fermented non-dairy options with beneficial live cultures include kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and cultured non-dairy yogurts.

Convenient Probiotic Options

  • Ready-to-drink and single-serving kefir and yogurt options can be a convenient option when on-the-go.
    • Pro Tip: If you are not going to consume the kefir or yogurt right away, try freezing them to ensure they stay fresh.
  • Kefir and yogurt can be great additions to smoothies. Try making your smoothie the night before and storing it a to-go container to save time in the morning.
    • Pro Tip: A well-rounded smoothie should contain ingredients rich in:
      • Antioxidants and vitamins- Frozen fruit such as berries, mango or banana or leafy greens such as spinach
      • Healthy fats- Avocado, hemp, chia or flax seeds
      • Protein- Kefir and yogurts are a good source of protein, but if you are looking for an extra protein boost, collagen peptide protein powders are a great option. Collagen protein is linked with joint health and skin benefits.

2. Fuel Your Gut with Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible dietary fibers that help promote and nourish the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Simply put, prebiotics act as the fuel for good bacteria. For example, the prebiotic dietary fiber Arabinoxylan in Inner Life! has been clinically proven to promote the growth of bifidobacteria.

Prebiotics naturally occur in some foods including bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, beans and whole-grain foods. While these foods can serve as a good base for a gut healthy diet, a high quantity of them is needed to achieve a prebiotic effect (i.e., promote the growth of good bacteria). For example, you would need to consume 15 green bananas to receive prebiotic benefits. The prebiotic fibers in these foods can also promote the growth of unwanted bacteria.

Many popular prebiotic fibers used in supplements, such as inulin commonly derived from chicory root or dandelion roots, are also needed in higher quantities to achieve prebiotic effects. These prebiotics can cause GI distress including gut discomfort, gas and bloating as well.

This is why we chose the prebiotic fiber Arabinoxylan for Inner Life! Arabinoxylan is clinically proven to support digestive health and immunity at a low dose of 2.2 grams a day. In addition, Arabinoxylan is exceptionally well-tolerated and gentle on the stomach. It doesn’t cause the gut discomfort, excess gas and bloating we’ve come to associate with other fiber supplements.

Inner Life! makes meeting your daily prebiotic needs easy and is conveniently packaged in single-serve sticks. Each serving of Inner Life!’s Peach Iced Tea Flavored prebiotic mix provides 3.8g of the clinically-proven prebiotic fiber, Arabinoxylan. Inner Life! is made with only the best ingredients, meaning no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives or gluten.

Convenient Prebiotic Options

  • Try prebiotic-rich beverages, such as Inner Life! Prebiotic Drink Mix
    • Pro tip: Keep the convenient drink mix in your purse or bag, so you always have a gut-healthy option even when on-the-go

3. Stay Hydrated!

For your gut to function optimally, you must consistently replenish its water supply by consuming hydrating beverages and foods. You have probably heard the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day. This is a reasonable goal, but your daily hydration needs can vary depending on your activity level, age, gender and weight. Where you live can also be a factor as living in a warmer climate, means you are likely losing more water through perspiration (aka sweat).

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

It is important to note that we do not need to rely on water alone to meet our hydration needs. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, celery or leafy greens, are almost 100 percent water by weight. In addition, beverages such as milk, juice, coffee or iced tea contribute to daily water intake. But make sure to choose beverages that are low in added sugar for most of your hydration needs.

Convenient Ways To Stay Hydrated:

  • Kombucha is a fermented drink crafted with a sweet tea base and live cultures of probiotic bacteria.
    • Pro Tip: Make sure to watch for added sugar content in kombuchas, as many can have 15 grams or more per serving
  • Try adding mint, citrus fruits or other infusions to your water to make quenching your thirst more enticing without having to add sugar.
    • Pro Tip: There are now water bottles available that make infusions easy while on the go.

About the Author

Hannah Ackermann, RD
Communications Manager at Inner Life!
As a Registered Dietitian, Hannah uses her expertise in food and nutrition to tell Inner Life!’s ingredient story. Hannah is passionate about gut health and helping educate consumers about healthy eating.

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